I stared at Santa Monica Boulevard.
Crowds of men populated the steamy
Sunday morning sides of the street.
Faint sound of a marching band
” I Am What I Am “
My inpatient nerves
Were being fried by the sun.
Why wasn’t Scott standing beside me?
Died of AIDS a year ago 1989
Our fifteen-year annual marching rite.
His death made him invisible.
My throat constricted as the APLA
and Shanti floats breezed by.
“It’s Raining Men”
I hustled for shade
Leaned against the wall.
Bricks dug into my back.
Pride wasn’t working for me.
Judy Garland whispered in my ear,
“Forget Your Troubles, Come on Get Happy.”
As the parade wound to a halt,
I felt a pinch from behind.
It was my friend Charlie.
Another widower that saved me
From a grieving support group.
Charlie would protect
The massive grave of numbness.
Our embrace erupted into
A volcano of blissful tears.
We formed a cocoon.
Our grip silenced the noise.
In a flash,
Swarming guys were following the last float.
Leaving the scraps of politics behind
Mobilizing towards the festival.
Gay carnival fair celebrated dance
“Should we go to the festival?”
Scott would want me to enjoy and
Not wallow in loss.
“Yes, my friend.
We need to dance away our damaged lives.”